The fourth annual Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum

Full Text Sharing

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (March 30, 2016) — The fourth annual Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum, in partnership with University of Louisville, Brown University, and Athlete Ally, will take place on April 8-9, 2016 as an online virtual conference. This year’s forum will focus on “Creating a Declaration for Human Rights in Sports”.

The goal of this year’s forum is to bring together thought leaders from diverse areas of sports advocacy for a think tank on the potential scope, impact, and framing of a Declaration for Human Rights in Sports, outline the rights of every athlete, as well as define the responsibilities of global sports communities to provide their athletes equality of access, opportunity and experience.

As Muhammad Ali was one of the first athletes to use his status as a vehicle to transform sports into larger societal issues, the forum welcomes practitioners, scholars, policymakers, athletes, and advocates who are working to advance the realm of athletes and social change through Ali’s six core principles: Respect, Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Spirituality and Giving.

In past years, the forum has featured Tori McClure, the first female to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and Kye Allums, the first openly transgender NCAA Division I athlete, as keynote speakers. Former attendees include multiple Olympic and Paralympic athletes. This is the first year the conference will be online.

“The time is now for fully addressing and articulating the rights of athletes and rights of all stakeholders at all levels of sports. This forum aims to contribute significantly to bringing development, peace and human rights to the forefront in sports. The Muhammad Ali Center is inspiring and empowering; it’s the perfect partner for this important conversation,” said Eli Wolff, Director, Sports and Development Project, Brown University.

Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center, said “Muhammad Ali as an athlete and humanitarian has led the way for others to use their celebrity status to do good in the world. As an organization, we strive to promote respect, hope, and understanding for all, and to use Muhammad as inspiration and motivation for young people to achieve greatness on local, national, and international levels. We could not be more proud to once again be hosting such a meaningful event.”

Mary A. Hums, Professor, Sports Administration, University of Louisville, said “This year’s Muhammad Ali Center Athletes and Social Change Forum promises to put forth new ways of framing sport from the perspective of human rights. The voices of athletes, practitioners, and academics will be present as we move forward while focusing a light on the power of sport to promote human rights as well as on sport as a human right. The forum welcomes all people who believe in the power of sport to inform, empower, and transform.”

A new partner for this year’s forum is Athlete Ally. Founder and Executive Director Hudson Taylor: “Sport is universal, and the values of good sporting behavior, and treating all people with dignity and respect, should be universal too. Athlete Ally is proud to be partnering with the Ali Center to help set the standard for human rights accountability through sport. If human rights advocates in sport communicate and collaborate, there is nothing we cannot accomplish.”

Registration Information
To attend the forum, please register here. The cost is free.

About Athlete Ally

Athlete Ally’s mission is to educate and activate athletic communities to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sports and to exercise their leadership to champion LGBT equality. Founded in 2011, Athlete Ally has worked with the NBA, WNBA, and MLB on matters of respect and inclusion; led the Principle 6 campaign that convinced the International Olympic Committee to include sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause of the Olympic Charter; and counts more than 100 college, professional, and Olympic athletes among its dedicated and active Ambassadors.

Eli Wolff
Brown University

Sarah Kennedy
Athlete Ally
(212) 213-1462

About the Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit



Jeanie Kahnke
Senior Director of Public Relations and External Affairs


Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

About Us

The idea is simple: creating an open “Portal” where engaged and committed citizens who feel to share their ideas and offer their opinions on development related issues have the opportunity to do...


Please fell free to contact us. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to hearing from you.

Empowered by ENGAGE,
Toward the Volunteering Inspired Society.